The Mutt’s Nuts

Where religion is about as attractive as a two week holiday in Afghanistan

Ridiculous argument

with 15 comments

Now I don’t claim to be particularly intelligent and my husband will tell you that I’m certainly not the most logical person in the world, but some of the arguments that Christians put forward for their beliefs, especially in an attempt to rubbish atheism, are just totally ridiculous. Take this one, for instance, made by some woman called Janet M. LaRue:

“As a lawyer, I’ve spent my career studying evidence. I’m quite confident that any objective and open-minded person who seriously considers the case for the empty tomb will be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Christ is the Lord of Life as He claimed. Those who criticize the resurrection as the best explanation for the empty tomb call it an argument from silence. But all they offer are irrational arguments from silence—the body could have been exhumed, somebody stole it, He didn’t really die, or everybody went to the wrong tomb. The evidence hasn’t been effectively rebutted in more than two thousand years.”

Please tell me what planet this person is living on. To follow Ms LaRue’s reasoning, we first have to set aside the fact that there is no definite evidence that the person Christians call Christ ever even existed or, supposing he did, that he was the son of a god, or that he was killed, or that he was placed in a tomb, rather than in the communal grave that was the fate of crucified criminals of the day.

But, let’s be charitable and ignore these difficulties, so that we can examine her “convincing” case for the resurrection. And what is it, pray tell? Well, of course it should be obvious to any right-thinking person that the only explanation for an empty tomb is that the occupant magically came back to life after he had been dead for (depending on which gospel account you read) several hours or several days. How irrational of anyone to put forward the notion that the body may have been exhumed, stolen, carried away or – and this, I know, is probably the most unbelievable of all – was never deposited there in the first place. No, Occam’s Razor notwithstanding, the only possible explanation for the empty tomb just has to be resurrection. A feat that has never been heard of before or since – let’s remember that it didn’t just involve coming back to life, but actually coming back with a body that would never be subject to death again – but nevertheless, according to Ms LaRue, without doubt the most reasonable of all explanations.

I presume the “evidence” that “hasn’t effectively been rebutted” is the biblical account, which we all know is totally reliable, was written down at the exact time the events it describes occurred, has never been tampered with or re-translated in any way and accords perfectly with the archaeological and historical record of the day.

Silly atheists, for doubting such a convincing first-hand account of indisputable veracity. Ms LaRue’s clever, lawyerly argument has put us properly on the back foot. How could we have got it so wrong in the face of such overwhelming evidence?

IslaSkye

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Written by islaskye

November 4, 2007 at 7:15 am

15 Responses

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  1. I don’t believe this, Isy (may I call you “Isy”) — you’re blogging about something you know blogs-all about !! Actually, you’re parroting a version of the resurrection that has been passed on to you (and millions of others) by people with their own obvious agendas. I take it, from your blog, that you’re either a bigot or that you have not applied your mind when reading the Bible. It is at this stage that I need to stress the fact that the living Word of God is something that we should read, and comprehend, for ourselves without relying on “authorities” who can, at best, be described as “vested interests “. And don’t worry — if you have the required faith, the Holy Spirit will guide you lest you falter in your reading. Give it a try. Seriously.

    About the so-called “resurrection of the body”, I feel an urgent need to introduce you to 1Peter 3:18 where he very clearly states that Jesus Christ was killed “in the body ” and was “raised in the spirit “. I doubt if Peter could have made himself any clearer. Jesus’ mission on earth ended with His death on the Cross — this He himself made amply clear when, just before dying, He said : “It is finished “. Even you, I am sure, will understand what He meant. May I point out here that Jesus did not physically appear to anybody after His death . He was suddenly there, and suddenly not there — like a spirit, I may add. I know, I know — you’re going to come back at me with the “empty tomb” story. I have no answer that will not be construed as “heresy” — but, of course, versions and theories are aplenty. But tell me, Isy, are you that gullible ? Personally, I don’t give a fig about the fate or whereabouts of Jesus’ body. He himself said that the mortal body was “rubbish”. But yes, what I care about is the fact that He died on the Cross for me. About His body — can you recall any chapter or verse from the gospels where Jesus said that he would rise physically from the dead ? The operative word here is “physically”. He never ever said that his body would rise — He said that He would rise on the third day. And, as Jesus himself pointed out, God is spirit . So what rose on the third day was the spirit of the Lord.

    I hate to burst your balloon, Isy, but the body as you know it is going to stay in its grave — or wherever they put it. There’ll be no reunions with the near and dear ones who have gone before you . This concept (resurrection of the body ) is the creation of fertile imaginations — and by people who have a set agenda to follow.

    The fact that your spirit, and not your body, will be raised is made very clear by Paul in 1 Corr 15:42. Read it, please. Paul goes to great lengths to inform us that the “resurrection of the body” will not take place — but yes, the spirit will rise.

    Before concluding, I once again request you to read, and comprehend, the Bible yourself — don’t depend on second-hand interpretations. Please don’t step into eternity on the say-so of somebody else !

    carlton figg

    November 4, 2007 at 2:10 pm

  2. Figgy

    I don’t know which bible you use, but I’m most familiar with the King James version. The following extract from Luke chapter 24 suggests that Jesus was indeed resurrected as a physical being:

    33: And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
    34: Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
    35: And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
    36: And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
    37: But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
    38: And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
    39: Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
    40: And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
    41: And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
    42: And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
    43: And he took it, and did eat before them.

    Here, the resurrected Jesus is insisting that he has both flesh and bones. Clearly he also has a digestive system (how else could he have eaten physical food?). The disciples were invited to handle him, which they certainly couldn’t do if he was a spirit. Finally, he pointed out the marks of the crucifixion that he still carried in his hands and feet. Why would a spirit body retain the scars of the physical?

    Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if you have a different interpretation to this scripture than the one that is most obvious, but as far as I’m concerned, this scripture is pretty plain.

    islaskye

    November 4, 2007 at 4:52 pm

  3. I’m with you Islaskye. As an atheist and as a lawyer, the issue is that of evidence. If Ms. LaRue thinks that she has enough evidence for her beliefs, that’s fine, as far as her beliefs go, but I don’t think I’d want her representing me in a court of law, because she clearly must have skipped evidence class in law school.

    You hit the nail on the head. She has to assume the truth of a whole slew of facts, before she even gets to the evidence of the empty tomb, the mere existence of a full tomb being the least of them.

    And as for Mr. Figg, he’s talking about something different also. He asks that you interpret</i. the scriptures different than the literal translation, by assuming that when Jesus asked Thomas to put his fingers in his wounds, he really wasn’t there. John 20:24-27

    For every Christian, there’s another and different interpretation.

    Spanish Inquisitor

    November 4, 2007 at 8:26 pm

  4. Here, the resurrected Jesus is insisting that he has both flesh and bones. Clearly he also has a digestive system (how else could he have eaten physical food?). The disciples were invited to handle him, which they certainly couldn’t do if he was a spirit. Finally, he pointed out the marks of the crucifixion that he still carried in his hands and feet. Why would a spirit body retain the scars of the physical?

    Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if you have a different interpretation to this scripture than the one that is most obvious, but as far as I’m concerned, this scripture is pretty plain.

    The answer to this is that He was not in His spirit body. Jesus was in His human body. Note that the tomb (The one Pilate bought for him….at least I think it was Pilate) was empty, which suggests that Jesus didn’t come back to life in spiritual form, rather in human form. This is why He could eat and why He still had scars in His hands.

    Another possibility is that Jesus was in spirit form, but, being the omnipotent being that He is, He made it appear as if He had scars in His hands, but spirit or not, He wouldn’t have had trouble eating. Though the first explanation is more likely.

    Twelve

    November 4, 2007 at 10:03 pm

  5. Inquisitor

    Thanks for the clarification. I understand now that Mr Figg was suggesting I consider another interpretation. And perhaps I would, if it didn’t seem such a contortion to make all the scriptures agree with each other.

    I think that’s why every Christian (or at least, every Christianity-based religion) seems to interpret the scriptures differently. It’s the only way they can justify their beliefs in the face of contradictory information. The very fact that literalists and non-literalists can both support their views by an appeal to the bible just demonstrates for me how ambiguous that book is. One has to ask why a god, who is apparently very keen that everyone should know him and believe in him, would approve a set of scriptures that are open to so many different interpretations.

    islaskye

    November 5, 2007 at 8:15 pm

  6. Twelve

    I agree that the scripture I quoted suggests that Jesus was resurrected as a physical being, not a spiritual one. But, as Mr Figg pointed out, there are other scriptures that seem to indicate he was resurrected as a spirit. That’s the bible for you…

    islaskye

    November 5, 2007 at 8:19 pm

  7. Then I suppose that Jesus rose in spirit, but physically appeared before the Twelve (at that point, eleven) before He did so. I’m not saying that He didn’t rise from the dead until appearing before the eleven, I’m saying that He literally rose, physically, and became spirit upon His ascension to Heaven. How could Jesus raise in spirit if He rose from the dead? He would have to physically rise from the dead, appear to the disciples, and upon His ascension (when He rose to Heaven), became spirit, thereby rising in spirit.

    Perhaps His body was dead, and He appeared before the disciples in His dead body, which I have to say would be creepy, and upon His ascension, rose in spirit.

    There are plenty of explanations, but the first is more likely.

    Twelve

    November 7, 2007 at 2:38 am

  8. The holes in the hand thing has always fascinated me. However you interpret Christ’s “rising” or of what substance his body would have been, you are left with something that just seems bizarre if you sit down and think about it as if you were someone in that story.

    Take the point of view that Jesus that had a new spiritual body (though why would the old one need to vanish then?).. does that mean that this all powerful being actually chose to re-create the image of FAKE nail holes in his hands to show the disciples? Doesn’t that seem… well… sort of emo?

    Even if it was the same physical body, then we have the problem that parts of it were healed, and not others. I mean, when you are crucified and die and stabbed in the side with a spear, it does a lot more to a physical body than leave holes in hands. It, for instance, would cause petechial hemorrhages in the eyes as you suffocate, not to mention causing all sorts of things that physically happen when a heart stops beating, from blood pooling, to rigor, to skin paling. Jesus, presumably, did not appear to his disciples looking like a walking, stinking three day old corpse: so he must have healed these physical changes, no? But if so, then he again deliberately left the wounds, which frankly are far more superficial and minor changes to a physical body than, well, dying.

    I mean, just try to think about the actions and decisions in story, and you start to see how truly odd the whole matter is. These are the sorts of details and plot holes that storytellers never think about, but that don’t happen in real historical events (since there, the details are taken care of by, well, reality).

    Bad

    November 11, 2007 at 4:14 pm

  9. As Jesus is an omnipotent being, he can do whatever he very well pleases, and that includes creating the images of holes in his hands and feet or healing a human body that he is no longer attached to. If the disciples had seen His human body, then it was probably pale, and probably looked pretty….how should I put this…..disgusting. The Bible, I don’t think, needs to mention that He looked like a three day old corpse, because that does seem pretty obvious, and it would explain why the disciples thought He was a ghost.

    Twelve

    November 12, 2007 at 7:46 pm

  10. “As Jesus is an omnipotent being, he can do whatever he very well pleases,”

    Well, yes, but that makes it worse, not better, which was sort of my point. It makes it all that much more phony.

    Bad

    November 12, 2007 at 10:51 pm

  11. Nobody has yet explained why Peter said that Jesus “was killed in the body” but that He rose “in the spirit”. You cannot argue the issue of “resurrection of the body” without taking a close look at Peter’s assertion. Possibly, Peter’s version was an “embellishment”. But why ? On the other hand, the story of the resurrection could really be an embellishment — for which there are ample reasons. Anyway. the point I am trying to make is that Jesus’ mission on earth was completed according to God’s plan with His death on the Cross. He died for our sins — whether He rose physically or in the spirit (I still stick with the Spirit” idea) is not really relevant to the essence of Christianity which, ironically, celebrates Easter Sunday with more gusto than it observes Good Friday. We are all losing sight of the fact that it is the Cross that offers us salvation, not an empty tomb !

    Carlton Figg

    November 23, 2007 at 10:50 am

  12. The resurrection was not embellished. It was mentioned many times throughout the Bible. Old and New Testament. In the OT, it was prophesied, in the NT, it was recorded as history.
    An empty tomb is one of the things that has been offered. The empty tomb is hope. The knowledge that Christ has risen gives us hope for the future. The cross, actually, doesn’t offer us a thing. Jesus is what we must pay attention to. No one bows to the cross. We bow to Jesus/God/Holy Spirit (having a trinity is confusing and irritating when writing about it). The cross is a horrible thing to behold, and I don’t think I could bear to look at it, in what it symbolizes.
    Christ did rise, for if He did not, that would mean that God was dead, and God is more powerful than death, and doesn’t obey it. He took all the sins in only three days’ punishment, rather than eternal punishment. After His work was complete, He rose again. Simple enough.

    Twelve

    November 24, 2007 at 2:20 am

  13. Well, yes, but that makes it worse, not better, which was sort of my point. It makes it all that much more phony.

    Not so much phony as reassuring to the disciples. He had to prove that He wasn’t a ghost and that He could be trusted. Anyway, I was and am sticking to the physically-rising-and-appearing-to-the-disciples-as-a-3-day-old-corpse idea. It makes much more sense.

    Twelve

    November 24, 2007 at 2:23 am

  14. For Gawd’s sake, just listen to yourselves.
    Throw the stupid bible in the toilet and get on with your lives.

    Aspentroll

    December 19, 2007 at 1:27 am

  15. Aspentroll, I have do, in fact, have a life. Incidentally, the Bible has a big part in it.

    Twelve

    December 21, 2007 at 9:28 pm


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